by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)
Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.
Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.
Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.
Oban Osaka Kabuki Prints - Most Osaka kabuki prints were done in the smaller chuban size, so full oban format kamigata-e are rarely seen.
These larger Osaka kabuki woodblocks are a great choice for a collector.
Comments - Striking kabuki scene of the young samurai Ono Tsurumaru drawing his word, staring over his shoulder with a tight-lipped frown. The beauty at far left regards him with a haughty expression, dressed in a purple kimono with a floral pattern over a red under robe. At lower right, a samurai dressed for traveling in a coat and carrying a straw hat looks up with an angry expression. Cherry blossoms frame the deep blue night sky at left. The center panel features Jitsukawa Enjaku as Ono Tsurumaru. The right panel includes Nakamura Jakuemon as a samurai and Jitsukawa Ensaburo as a servant. The metallic pigment used on the sword blade and the beauty's floral hair ornament has oxidized to a dark tone. A handsome triptych in the full oban format seldom scene with Osaka prints, detailed with burnishing on Tsurumaru's black obi, the traveler's black collar and arm protectors, and the black lacquer trim in the background.
Artist - Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 27 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.
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